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Distinguished Alumnus/Alumna Award

Each year, UNC School of Social Work honors outstanding alumni for the leadership, passion, commitment and contributions that they have made to the field of social work. The School selects these alumni based on written nominations and presents the Distinguished Alumnus/Alumna Award(s) during the School's annual commencement ceremony.

Nominate a deserving candidate!

We need your help in identifying nominees throughout North Carolina (and beyond!) for the UNC School of Social Work Distinguished Alumnus/Alumna Award.

A nominee must be a graduate of the UNC School of Social Work. Nominations are evaluated based on the degree to which the nominee meets the following criteria:

  • Demonstrates outstanding leadership and makes significant contributions to the field of social work.
  • Demonstrates a deep commitment to highly ethical social work standards.
  • Develops and/or implements major innovations that have improved the quality of life for community members.
  • Benefits clients, the professional community and the social work profession through special contributions, advocacy and involvement in professional, civic and/or community organizations.
  • Serves as an effective advocate for social work issues.

You may know several individuals in the social work profession who might qualify for this award. To nominate an individual, please provide a statement of nomination that includes the nominee's name, current employment or professional affiliation, contact information for both yourself and your nominee, and one or more paragraphs detailing why you believe the nominee is a Distinguished Alumnus/Alumna. You may nominate more than one individual, but please submit each nomination separately.

Please mail your nomination by March 1:
Dean's Office
UNC School of Social Work
Campus Box #3550
Chapel Hill, N.C. 27599-3550

Previous recipients — Distinguished Alumnus/Alumna Award

2018  Veronica Creech '98, Constance Fraser Gray '91, Mark A. Oliver '98, Anna Marie Scheyett '89, Jovetta L. Whitfield '95
2017  Sharon Warren Cook '95, Dana Courtney '74, Karen McLeod, Phyllis Thomas-Thorpe '82, Irene Zipper '73
2016  Gary Bowen ’76, Desdemona Faison '85, Justin Perry '09, Stephen Douglas Trantham '92
2015  Easter Maynard ’97, Michael Newton-Ward ’84
2014  Seanee Garris Alexander ’99, Mary Deyampert-McCall ’80, Chris Estes ’00
2013  no award given
2012  no award given
2011  no award given
2010  JoAnn McCatchern Swart '78, Myrna Miller Wellons '96
  Bobby Boyd '69, Ella Craig '50, Michelle Hughes '95, Constance Renz '74
2008  Diann Dawson '74, Debra Jenkins '77, Amanda Stone '94
2007  Holly Bowles Blanton '77, Isabel Geffner '02
2006  Connie Bonebrake '86, Louise Coggins '80, Robert Gorman '78
2005  Edwin Chapin '67, Gay Morris '81, Matt Sullivan '97, Gail Varley '80
2003  Sarah Austin ’64, Andrea Bazan Manson ’95
2002  Molly Barker '89, Sonja "Yvette" Murphy '90, Robert Stump '69
2001  McCray Benson '90, William Pollard '69
2000  Bill Brittain '65, Marilyn Maxwell '72
1999  Linda Miller Summer '48
1997  Ruby Demesme '79
1996  Frank Raymond '65
1995  Martha Beach '75
1993  Yangcha Crabb '74
1992  Sandra Mastin Cook '74